As an adult, you’re probably going to be much more independent with your diabetes right from the start - there isn’t such a “hands on” role for parents.
But they are still going to be worried about the diagnosis, especially if they don’t know much about diabetes.
So, it’s worth considering how much involvement you want from them, and whether there are aspects of your diabetes that they can help with.
Everyone’s different, and every parent / child relationship is different as well, but here are a few tips and things to think about.
Being diagnosed with diabetes as an adult is going to be quite different from being diagnosed as a child.
To help avoid complications it’s important for you to take control of your diabetes. This can be scary at first and takes time to get used to – you can’t just click your fingers and make it happen overnight!
Good control means keeping your levels as normal as possible:
•Between 4 and 7mmol/l before meals
•Under 9mmol/l by two hours after a meal for most of the time
This may sound hard to do, but the idea is to use these numbers as a rough guide rather than stick to them rigidly. More than 9mmol/l means there is too much glucose in your blood and below 4mmol/l means there is not enough. Aiming for between 4–7mmol/l before meals is a pretty good balance.
Sometimes it can seem a real pain to have to keep testing your blood. You might feel there’s no point because you think you ‘know’ when your levels are too high or too low. But the way you feel is not always an accurate guide to what’s happening inside your body. It’s always best to test your blood glucose level to tell you what’s really going on.
Regular testing is important because it helps you to keep good control of your diabetes. Testing is also really important when you are feeling ill or if you are about to do, or have just done some physical activity.
Your doctor or nurse will talk to you about how many tests are best for you. If you’re not feeling very well you’ll also need to test more. Sometimes you will get a high or low result and you won’t know why. If you have an occasional high (a reading over 10mmol/l) or low test, don’t panic – this happens to everyone.
Keeping a Record
Keeping a record of your test results will help you see how your diabetes control is going. It will also help you make decisions about and adjustments to your diabetes care between clinic visits.
Nowadays many blood glucose meters have a built in ‘memory’ that can store your recent test results. You might be tempted to use this rather than keeping a diary.
A few places are even developing a Diabetes App for your smartphone that can do this!
Mighty DUK's Top Tips for Testing
•Make sure your hands are clean before you begin
•Use water rather than wet wipes (wet wipes contain glycerine that could alter the result)
•Prick the side of the finger (but not the index finger or thumb) - don’t prick the middle bit, or too close to a nail, because this will really hurt
•Use a different finger each time and a different part - this will hurt less
•If you don’t get much blood, hold your hand down towards the ground.
•Make sure your hands are warm - if they are cold it’s hard to draw blood and finger pricking will hurt more
•Record your results – this will help you to see how your diabetes control is going
The Mighty DUKs would like to thank W2T1 and Johnathan White for creating and letting us use this video.